To Increase the Electricity Reliability in Java-Bali, then Increase the Renewable Energy Supply


(Children playing with a background in the Java 7 coal-fired power plant—owned majority by Shenhua Gouhoa  under construction which is scheduled to operate in October 2019. The power plant is considered to strengthen the reliability of the Java-Bali transmission network, especially in its west area)

The government and PLN need to improve the reliability of the Java-Bali electricity system by increasing the availability of renewable energy. In the case of a electrical disruption which resulted in a electricity blackout on August 4, 2019, coal-fired power plant seemed incompetent to respond quickly, so it took 6-8 hours to operate normally after being disconnected from the network system.

Regrettably, the PLN and the government’s response to the power outage is to strengthen the Power Plant including promoting the Java 7 Power Plant with a capacity of 2 x 991 MW which is scheduled to operate in October 2019 as a sollution to anticipate the same case. This solution does not consider  justice aspect for the people around the Power Plant who receive negative impacts such as health problems due to poor air quality from the Power Plant. In addition there are also fishermen whose fishing space in the sea has narrowed because it has turned into a special location for coal ports and the location of the Java 7 Power Plant. Moreover, the dominance of coal plants make a slow response to power outages because power plants require a long time to be able resuming normal operation.

Another long-term solution offered is to continue the construction of Java HVDC (High Voltage DC) transmission. The consequence of this network is the addition of the Mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in South Sumatra. Mine-mouth coal-fired power plants effect environmental degradation for residents at the power plant site, because they have environmental impacts from mining activities (floods, river diversion, mine dust) and at the same time there is also the impact of power plants (air pollution, noise). The mine-mouth coal-fired power plant caused disturbance to the residents’ agricultural land and rubber plantations in Muara Enim.

 (The rubber plantation owned by the residents is near the Simpang Belimbing Mine Mouth Power Plant, owned majority by Shenhua Gouhua. The tree colour turns black and the resulting rubber latex decreases)
 (a rainwater storage in a locals home in Gunung Raja Village, Muara Enim. The bottom of the rainwater storage container contains dust deposits originating from the power plant and coal mining activities, which are less than 1.1 km from this house)

Ecological injustice for the Java-Bali electricity fulfillment by sacrificing of environmental quality and the health of residents around the mine-mouth coal-fired power plant must be avoided, in addition, the construction of the Sumatra- Java HVDC which is dominated by the power plant increases greenhouse gases.

The reliability of the Java-Bali electricity system will increase if the renewable energy supply in each region/province is developed. The integration of the Java-Bali system makes fluctuations in the availability of renewable energy manageable, for example if the wind power supply on the South coast of Java slows down, it can be overcome by optimizing land and floating solar power plants that are built in each province. In addition, each province/region can have energy independence and electricity power responses quickly in anticipation of transmission failures between provinces. With the availability of large-scale electricity storage technology, the development of renewable energy is increasingly possible on a large scale and household scale.

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